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Circular Food Hubs: Mainland Nova Scotia

​​​​The National Zero Waste Council, in collaboration with Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL), Halifax Regional Municipality, Halifax Food Policy Alliance, and others is leading support for the development of food hubs in mainland Nova Scotia that integrate circularity and food loss and waste (FLW) prevention. Circular food hubs in Nova Scotia aim to create an anchor of activity in the Canadian landscape and contribute to the evolution of a Canada-wide circular food system.​

Current Activities

Knowledge-Sharing Sessions

Circular Food Solutions grant winners have recently completed piloting and testing their circular food solutions. We are now entering the 5th phase of the project and will host two virtual knowledge-sharing sessions. During these sessions, project partners and grant winners will share their insights and experiences. We will also be joined by other leaders in Canada who are engaged in similar initiatives. We invite all Canadians with a connection to Canada’s food system to participate in these sessions and explore ways to integrate circular practices into their own work.

Grants Awarded

Congratulations to the recipients of the Circular Food Solutions Challenge Grant Sodexo, MOC Biotechnologies Inc., Shivani’s Kitchen, The Station Food Hub, Vessel Meats Craft Butchery, and Square Roots!

We are in the pilot and test phase of the project. Grants have been awarded to organizations who are piloting and testing circular solutions in Nova Scotia.

We have recently completed the pilot and test phase of the project. Grants were awarded to organizations who piloted circular solutions in Nova Scotia. Grant recipients wrapped their testing in March 2024 and will share their learning through virtual knowledge-sharing sessions and a Future Planning document to come in 2024.​






Nova Scotia Circular Food Hubs Vision






Circular Food Hubs

Project Process:

Our first workshop began the process of creating a shared vision for circular food hubs in Nova Scotia. On-the-ground consultants gathered food waste data for Nova Scotia, and created both a food waste flow analysis along with recommendations for strategic circular solution interventions. Our second workshop in July presented the flow analysis and recommended interventions, and invited feedback from attendees. What solutions made sense for Nova Scotians? What circular food solutions were already underway in the province, how could they be scaled up and shared with others across Canada? Now wrapping the pilot and test phase, where collaborations amongst businesses, community organizations and/or governments testing circular food solutions were invited to apply for funding support, the project is moving into its final step. The next step is to develop a future regional roadmap with the knowledge learned throughout this five-step process.

The project activities have been guided by a five-step process tested through COIL and Our Food Future, based in Guelph-Wellington, Ontario.​​

Discover resources and get in touch with our circular peer network spanning across the country.




Project Process and Outputs

Project Process Chart



Phase 1: Convene stakeholders to get a shared circular vision

Phase 2: Conduct high-level waste flow/systems analysis

Phase 3: Identify strategic circular interv​ention opportunities

Phase 4: Pilot and test solutions

  • Businesses Awarded

Phase 5: Develop a future regional roadmap

  • Lessons Learned
  • The Future of Food in Nova Scotia




Project Background

In 2021 and 2022, the National Zero Waste Council collaborated with Circular Economy Leadership Canada, Our Food Future, Save-On-Foods, and the Vancouver Economic Commission to explore circular food systems in Canada. Through this work, place-based circular food hubs were identified as critical to advancing circular food systems and waste prevention in Canada. A circular food hub connects place-based stakeholders across the food system to ensure FLW is prevented by following circular economy principles of designing out waste and pollution, circulating resources, and regenerating natural systems.

Circular food hubs are in development in other parts of Canada, including Vancouver and Montreal. Guelph-Wellington has a fully-formed circular food hub in place, led by Our Food Future, and continues to be Canada’s leading example. For food system change in the Canadian context to occur, place-based circular food hubs need to be secured in key anchor points across the country.

Circular Food Hubs: Mainland Nova Scotia uses a 5-step project designed by COIL to support the evolution of circular food hubs. It uses a peer-to-peer learning approach, where participants connect with those leading similar innovations elsewhere in Canada, as well as local Nova Scotian leaders interested in pursuing food waste prevention and circularity. The mainland Nova Scotia project supports the evolution of an Atlantic-coast circular food hub anchor that is place-based, yet contributes to the emergence of a circular, Canada-wide food system.

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